How Thin is Your Ice?

When something goes wrong, how do you respond? Last Thursday morning I read that opening line in Seth Godin’s blog, and I had to laugh. A few minutes earlier I’d received an email from the associate pastor of my church, letting me know the food and preparations we’d made to serve the congregation between services on Easter Sunday had to be cancelled due to flood damage.  Calls had to be made, food orders cancelled, and apologies delivered to the folks who had already prepared food and rearranged their schedules to help. It was by no… [read more]
Share this post:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg

Investment Shock Absorbers

(from Dimensional Fund Advisors’ Outside the Flags blog by Jim Parker dated February 2017. Jim is a Vice President with DFA, leading the communications and marketing team in the firms’ Australian office.)    Ever ridden in a car with worn-out shock absorbers? Every bump is jarring, every corner stomach-churning, and every red light an excuse to assume the brace position. Owning an undiversified portfolio can trigger similar reactions. In a motor vehicle, the suspension system keeps the tires in contact with the road and provides a smooth ride for passengers by offsetting the forces of gravity,… [read more]
Share this post:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg

Will it Matter?

A constant stream of breaking news on TV.  Our smartphones pinging us about that news alert, social media mention or new “friend.”  Weather alerts where we live and just about everywhere else on the globe.  Another reason to fret, worry or panic caused by real media reports, fake media reports, Presidential and not-so-presidential tweets. It’s far too easy to get caught up in the headlines, pings, dings and other constant demands for our attention.  At best, we wind up carrying around a low-grade stress headache every day.  At worst, it can cause much larger problems… [read more]
Share this post:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg

Kick the Buckets

Commercials are the worst.  I avoid live television altogether except for things like watching Xavier in the Elite Eight, but even then, I still avoid the commercials.  I will literally pause the TV when it goes to a commercial break and sit there until I think enough time has passed that I can fast forward through them. The other day, though, I must have been off my game.  I was watching some show and without realizing it, I got pulled in to the commercials.  One came on for the new, the amazing, the super powerful…Dyson… [read more]
Share this post:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg

An Incredible Stat About the Dow Shows Just How Strangely Stocks Are Trading

(from Alex Rosenberg’s CNBC article which appeared on Yahoo! Finance on March 16, 2017.  Click here for the original post.  Alex is a producer for CNBC, where he serves as the digital writer & editor for “Trading Nation,” “Futures Now,” and “Options Action.”  Learn more about Alex here or follow him on Twitter here.) Eighteen years ago, when the Dow Jones industrial average (Dow Jones Global Indexes: .DJI) was trading at half its current level, 100-point daily moves were twice as significant. That’s just math. What’s surprising is that they happened much… [read more]
Share this post:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg

The Best Gift

My mother turned 80 last week, and we’d planned a weekend birthday party for her in Cincinnati, with family members coming in from out of state to surprise her.  But Thursday night those plans were cancelled when Mom called to say she couldn’t leave Portsmouth, because Lodi was dying and she didn’t want to leave her. Lodi’s parents died when she was five, scattering 8 brothers and sisters among an assortment of relatives who took them in at the beginning of the Great Depression.  Clara and Nell, two of her aunts who never married, raised… [read more]
Share this post:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg

The More You Know

They say sometimes ignorance is bliss.  That nagging pain, a drip in the basement, stepping on the scale to see how the new fitness plan is going, anything worthy of our attention that goes ignored due to our reluctance to know the truth. This can especially be true with our finances.  It is not uncommon for us to see resistance from potential new clients, existing clients or even those just making their first call to the office.  In those cases, when we are able to dig a little deeper into the reluctance, it’s almost always… [read more]
Share this post:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg

To Keep or not to Keep – That is the Question

They say opposites attract.  Well, they were right when it comes to my husband and me.  I am a neat freak and he is a pack rat.  I love clean surfaces and being able to see everything when I look in a closet or cabinet.  He loves saying yes when anyone offers to give us anything.  Old sink – yes, we want it.  A third set of used speakers – send them our way.  Twenty place settings of holiday dishes when I do 90% of my cooking in the microwave – of course!  His collecting… [read more]
Share this post:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg

One Money Question to Rule Them All: How Much is Enough?

(from Ron Lieber’s article in the Your Money section of the New York Times on November 24, 2016.  Click here for the original article.  Ron Lieber is the “Your Money” columnist, noted author and editor of the Bucks Blog for the Times.  Follow Ron on Twitter @ronlieber.) As we enter this season of contemplation and reflection, we all have more than the usual number of everyday financial questions weighing on us. How much more might we pay for health care under President­-elect Donald Trump?  How will any new trade policies affect our household budgets… [read more]
Share this post:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg

What Are You Paying?

When we purchased our first home, I was stunned to see all the estimated costs on our closing statement: loan origination fees, appraisal fees, credit report fees, flood certification fees, recording fees, and more.  While I was overwhelmed by the number of miscellaneous costs, they were clearly spelled out, and I knew what we were paying. For investors, it’s not always that easy. New York Times columnist, Ron Lieber, recently wrote about the difficulty getting to the bottom of what you’re paying as an investor.  In his recent Your Money column, The 21 Questions [read more]
Share this post:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg